Fed up of being told that you need to innovate without being told how? Perhaps you need a little help—and this is what Rekha Shetty’s book Innovate: 90 Days to Transform your Business promises to do. We’ve picked out key points of reflection and action. Edited excerpts:
Day 1: Every day, persuade your team to introduce good action habits which will enhance your performance. Look for action plans at the end of each of the 90 days.
The lack of resources forces us to innovate. Tough times help us adapt.
Innovate!—90 Days to Transform your Business: by Rekha Shetty, Penguin Portfolio, 246 pages, Rs299.
Day 3: Be ready for change—if you continue in the old ways, you will continue to lose.
Day 4: Innovation should be a part of everyone’s job description.
Day 6: The lack of collaboration between departments stifles innovation. What can you do differently in your organization?
Day 7: Have a long-term goal and stick to it through difficult times.
Day 8: Teamwork drives innovation. Challenge each other when working together.
Day 11: Money and resources are essential lubricants of the innovation process. Ensure top-management clearance and support in advance.
Day 12: Failure is not falling down, but staying down. Get up. Act.
Day 13: Think outside the box. Eliminate the box. Eliminate non-value-adding activities.
Day 14: Innovation should be focused on specific business goals.
Day 15: An open office atmosphere ensures greater productivity.
Day 16: Be supportive of subordinates who try something and fail, only then will your employees be bold enough to be innovative and creative.
Day 17: Efficient meetings are a trademark of innovative organizations.
Day 18: Practise listening to your team, using In-Out listening.
Day 19: Maintain silence for half a day. Put the phone on silent.
Finalize the design for an innovation website and e-learning modules.
Launch the innovation initiative with a contest.
Inaugurate the innovation centre. People may be encouraged to introduce new ideas.
Set up an e-group and encourage greater use of the website.
Facilitators and outside consultants can be leveraged to kick-start innovation.
Day 24: Rewarding team creativity enhances teamwork.
Day 25: Be supportive of subordinates or colleagues who have committed genuine mistakes without ulterior motives.
Day 26: Give everyone a notebook which will then become a long-term goal book. Let people record five things in their lives they are thankful for.
Day 27: Speak, write about and publicize small successes.
Day 29: The customer is not a passive recipient of your product but a creative participant. Listen and invent with him.
Day 30: Talk to marketing and salespeople and learn about the changing aspirations of customers.
Day 31: Become for a day a customer of your product. Go out and try to buy it.
Day 33: Call your customer to ask him what new service you can offer.
Day 34: Work out a new source of revenue from an activity that has just been introduced. See how you can turn a cost centre into a profit centre.
Day 35: Do not lose hope, every venture or effort cannot be successful. Try again. And again—but in new directions.
Day 37: Idea generation programmes are efficient tools for innovation. Appreciate talent.
Day 38: Be patient with teething problems. Debug as you go along.
Day 40: Eliminate activity or expenditure that does not add value for the customer.
Day 45: Pick up the best practices from competitors, other industries, suppliers and customer.
Day 49: Beware of obvious solutions! And make people time conscious.
Day 54: The rules for thinking are different from the rules for doing.
Day 57: Everyone should take responsibility and ownership.
Day 61: Take responsibility for change. Write down and implement one change in your organization.
Day 66: An ounce of action is worth tonnes of email, paper and speeches. Implementation is the key to innovation
Day 72: Cooperate instead of confronting.
Day 81: Teams ready to roll are like warriors getting ready for battle. Keep spirits high.
Day 85: Put up a total action plan where everyone can look at it and record their comments.
Day 89: Begin writing about the change initiative as a part of your company’s history.
Day 90: Take the decision to change the status quo wherever you can.
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